Know Any of These Turkey Hunters?
As turkey hunters, we all try to get along. After all, we're all caught up in a great tradition. We're brothers and sisters of the hunt. Still, there are times when other turkey hunters get on our nerves just a little bit. Okay, well, maybe a lot.
It might happen on a oak covered, ridge top. You might have located a gobbler, made your setup and started to hatch a plan to kill that bird once it flies down. And then, footsteps. And it's not coming from turkeys.
It might happen in turkey camp. There's always this one knucklehead who makes it difficult for everybody else. And that person might not even be aware of it.
Here's to the turkey hunters we love to hate. May they some day learn the errors of their ways.
Click through this blog gallery to meet the five turkey hunters you love to hate. Sound familiar?
I think you know where this is going.
Oh man, this person has to be our No. 1 turkey hunter to hate.
If he kills a nice gobbler, you get to hear about it. And then you get to hear about it again. Spur length. Weight. Beard length. How he called it 200 yards, over a fence and past another hunter to his gun before killing it at 50 yards.
This guy is insufferable. And if you happen to tag a nice gobbler and bring it back to camp, he'll wait a second, then tell you all about his again. And again.
Nope, I'm not talking about the low-down and dirty dude who lifts shells from your vest just yet, but we'll get to a version of this person shortly.
This is the turkey hunter who makes a move on you and "your bird" as you locate, call or are just about to kill it.
Been there? You've spent the pre-season finding turkeys to hunt. You've nailed down a bunch of spots, including the one you've just parked your truck at . . . the bird gobbles, you make your setup, and then hear gravel crunching up on the ridge road, and see headlights dancing through the trees.
A turkey is coming to you, then silence. A gobbler is strutting just outside of range, then . . .
The thief has arrived. It doesn't matter whether you put all this time in. He (or she) doesn't care. That's how they got this name. They steal birds from you, or at least mess with a situation you've earned and they haven't.
Some turkey hunters should just never have a call in their hands. Period.
I'm not sure what happens to the instructional material that comes with some mouth diaphragms, box or pot-and-peg calls, but clearly many toss it in the garbage. Or, maybe, they simply can't apply the tips given there.
The screeching that comes from their efforts at running a mouth call might just pull in a coyote, and not a spring gobbler.
Okay, maybe they can call. But they like to do it too much. They owl hoot incessantly to pull shock gobbles from silent turkeys, but continue every half-minute, even after a gobbler or two sounds off. They crow call to locate gobblers like they're hunting, well crows.
They yelp and yelp and yelp and yelp and yelp.
The gobbler has stepped out of the woods, and you see it. So does your hunting buddy next to you, seated on the ground.
And so he narrates the whole thing as the turkey winds its way toward you.
"Here he comes, get ready, oh man he's a nice bird, wow, just look at . . ."
You can see it plain and clear. He's like a TV baseball announcer telling you about the action you already see on the screen. You want to turn his sound down.
"Okay, get ready, okay, shoot, SHOOT!" Ugh.
You know this turkey hunter, and have probably hated him or her a time or two.
It's daybreak, and your turkey hunting buddy whispers, "Hey, got any spare shotgun shells?"
It's unseasonably cold and starts to rain hard. You throw on a weather-proof jacket. But your turkey hunting buddy forgot his.
"Oh man, I forgot my license," says the camouflaged figure next to you as the drive to your spot.
"Oh, I didn't know you wanted me to bring any turkey calls."
"Oh, I didn't think I'd need a seat cushion."
Now granted, you go easy on youth hunters, for sure. It's all part of the mentoring process. And new turkey hunters get a second chance too.
It's the folks who do it repeatedly that get on your nerves a little bit. Make a list! Check it twice.
Or turkey hunt alone next time . . .